Monday, March 10, 2003

From the mailbag

My friend Alice Marshall writes from Fairfax, VA, in response to the discussion of torturing Al Qaeda members:
All the apologies for torture, especially the "what if there were a bomb about to go off" rationale, conveniently forget that there was such a situation.

The FBI Minnesota field office knew there was at least one guy planning to fly a passenger airliner into a building and very likely more. They held him on a visa violation and tried, over and over again, to search his hard drive. Not torture him, just a normal law enforcement procedures, search the suspect's computer. Those who sabotaged that request were rewarded.

We need to hit on that again and again and again. An experienced civil servant, using normal procedures, had the situation in hand. And was blocked by Republican political appointees. The Bush crowd doesn't want us to remember that. But why does the press, who all work in and around obvious terror targets, let them get away with it? Is not the gallows sufficient to concentrate their minds?

She is, of course, referring primarily to the case of Zacarias Moussaoui.

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